Parent Update: Nov. 15, 2018

Handling Homework
One of any student's most common complaints is, “I have so much homework.” It can be difficult to know when a student’s complaint is just that — a complaint — and when it represents true feelings of overload. Homework is an integral part of the NMH experience because it allows students to master skills and prepare for class discussions and activities. We put structures in place throughout the academic day and during study hall to help students develop scholarly habits that will serve them well in college and beyond. 

NMH’s College-Model Academic Program creates more space for balance. With fewer courses each day, students have time inside and outside class to dive deeply into the material. The two-hour study hall period every school night is a time for students to do homework and attend optional academic help sessions in mathematics, science, writing, and research. 

For most students, the two-hour study hall is not enough time to complete all their work. Depending on the course, students can expect varying levels of homework. For students enrolled in 100-level courses, the average nightly load is 45 minutes per class; for 500- or 600-level courses, students can expect up to 90 minutes. In addition, students may complete certain assignments or subjects more quickly than others. What may take one student half an hour may take another student 45 minutes. Major papers and projects will require more time than a typical assignment. Teachers try to cushion these larger assignments by offering help sessions, in-class work time, or eliminating homework on the nights just before or following due dates. 

At the start of the school year, advisors often spend time with students helping identify times outside study hall when they can complete work. For example, most students will have one free period during the academic day, creating an additional 80 minutes for homework. Developing schedule awareness is an important step toward academic maturity. 

Over the fall and spring long weekends, teachers are asked not to assign homework. For Thanksgiving break and spring break, teachers may assign up to three hours of portable homework. (Portable means something a student can easily do while traveling, such as reading a book or completing problems out of a textbook. It should not be a project or something that would require going to a library for research.)

Early-Action College Applications: Hurry Up and Wait
With more than 70 percent of the Class of 2019 having submitted some form of early application to college, the current challenge is to be patient.

The college counseling office has submitted more than 500 documents to more than 100 colleges and universities, which are in their busy “reading season.” There are still a few early-application deadlines ahead: Thursday, Nov. 15, is the deadline for the NESCAC schools (Middlebury, Trinity, Hamilton, and others). Nov. 30 is the deadline for all the University of California schools (Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and others).

Most early-application results will be known by Dec. 15, so some students will have to move onto their “plan B” at that time. If history is any guide, about half of the students will be admitted, and many of the rest will be deferred. That means their application will be moved into the “regular application” pool, and the application is no longer binding.

A handful of applications will be denied outright. This is very helpful information, as it can inform the strategy for a student’s “plan B.” As always, counselors and our support staff — Diane King and Jen Davenport — are available to answer your questions. 

There are some important next steps. Learn about what to do now, deadlines, and future testing dates. 

Want a college counseling refresher? Here is an overview of a student’s college-counseling timeline and the list of where the Class of 2018 is attending college.

Coach Breaks NMH Soccer Record
After 15 years leading NMH boys’ varsity soccer players to 146 wins, co-head coach Charlie Malcolm became the winningest coach in NMH soccer history this month. “This is an outstanding achievement in the 86-year history of boys’ soccer at Mount Hermon and NMH,” said Athletics Director Greg Leeds, who held an impromptu ceremony on the field after the game. “This team has won more New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) class A championships titles than any other prep school.” Read more about this milestone.

Alumni Offer Glimpse of Life After NMH

On Oct. 25, six alumni returned to campus to lead the first in a planned series of alumni-student mentoring events. The graduates asked students to guess their vocations by asking questions about their experiences at NMH, in college, and during their early career years. 

Celia Popper Carboni ’72, John Lozada ’75, Andrew Ness ’04, Stuart Paap ’93, David Torrey ’73, and Sara Stephens Wilson ’02 participated in this project, which was conceived by the Center For Learning Through Action and the Alumni Council. 

The series, #LightTheNMHSpark, intends to ignite connections between alumni and students and to get students thinking about life after NMH.

See the event photo gallery.


For Day-Students' Families: When winter weather arrives, there will be times that your student should spend the night in their associated dorm. Read our winter weather message and get a list of dorm phone numbers.

Yearbook Deadline Approaching: You can order the NMH yearbook, the Gemini, now. It is free to seniors, but must be purchased by anyone else. Books will be distributed in May. Orders and ads are due Nov. 30, 2018. 

Students and Screen Time: The Class of 2021 is taking part in a challenge to reduce phone screen time by 15 percent over two weeks. The goal is for half of the class to do so, providing evidence via Apple and Android tools. Want to learn more about the impacts of screen time? Watch this TED talk and read this New York Times article.

Keeping Student Grades and Comments: Advisor comments for your student will be posted around Nov. 26; you will receive an email when they are ready to view. Once new comments and grades are posted, you will not be able to access earlier ones, so copy and save/print anything you want to keep now.

Hogger Packs: It’s time to order “Hogger Packs,” exam-time care packages full of treats. They are delivered to student dorm rooms with a personalized note of encouragement from you. Reading day and final exams are Dec. 17–19. To send one to your student, complete this order form by Dec. 11. 

Veterans Day at NMH: On Nov. 11, NMH marked both Veterans Day and the centennial of WWI’s end with a ceremony in Memorial Grove — a semicircle of white pines planted in memory of the 69 Mount Hermon men who fell in the Great War. Chapel bells tolled once for each of them, their names were read, and bagpipers played “The Battle's O'er.” Read more and see photos and video

Pie Race Photos: The photos and videos from the 2018 Pie Race are now available on Flickr. Look for your student here.

Honor NMH Students on Giving Tuesday: Service is a huge part of an NMH education, where students participate in workjob, volunteer in the community, and strive to act with humanity and purpose in all that they pursue. On Nov. 27, make your Giving Tuesday gift to the NMH Fund in honor of the thousands of hours of service work done by NMH students throughout the year. 
Study Abroad in 2019: Study-abroad applications are due Monday, Nov. 26. Don’t let your student miss this opportunity to travel and learn in Ghana. Please contact Jensi Rovang, study-abroad program coordinator, with questions.

Athletics Banquet: On Nov. 9, fall athletes and coaches celebrated their hard work and accomplishments. View the list of award recipients and photos, and read speeches by clicking here. Congratulations to all athletes on a well-earned season, and thank you to families for your support. 

Host Families Needed: NMH is still in need of day families to host Uruguayan exchange students in February 2019. Learn more about taking part in this enriching program, and please consider hosting.

Sophomores in Brazil: Students on the Humanities II trip have been traveling in Brazil for almost two weeks. They have learned about Afro-Brazilian religion, played soccer, visited museums, shared food with local families, engaged with community leaders and organizers, and explored Rio, Salvador, and Bahia. Learn more about their trip on the GEO blog.

Athletes of the week: Congratulations to our most recent honorees, the New England champion varsity boys' cross-country team: Ryan Heskin ’19, Owa Hughes ’19, Louis Salz ’20, Richard Sturtevant ’19, and Leo Yang ’19.

New on NMH’s Flickr site: The latest galleries include photos (and some video) from the dance concert, Pie Race, American Literature and French I classes, athletics banquet, and volleyball. And get the latest news on the NMHSocial page.

Upcoming Events

11/17 Dorms close at noon for Thanksgiving break 
11/25 Thanksgiving break ends, students return 2–7:30 pm
11/27 Wantman State of the World speaker Dr. Nigel Brissett (NMH families welcome to attend)
11/30-12/2 Closed weekend
12/1 Vermont Jazz Center festival
12/1 Tron Bon (bonfire)
12/2 Vespers at NMH at 3:30 pm and 7 pm
12/5 Schauffler Scholar Series featuring Angela Yang-Handy
12/14 Pre-Vespers Parent Reception in Boston
12/14 NMH Vespers in Boston, 7 pm
12/19 Fall semester ends    
12/20 Dorms close at noon
1/7 Winter break ends, students return 2–7:30 pm

A bird's eye view